Rilakkuma and Kaoru

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Rilakkuma and Kaoru
Rilakkuma and Kaoru.png
Kanjiリラックマとカオルさん
Genre
Created byAki Kondo
Written byNaoko Ogigami
Directed byMasahito Kobayashi
StarringMikako Tabe
Ending theme"Sampo" by Quruli
ComposerShigeru Kishida
Country of originJapan
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes21
Production
Executive producers
  • Hiroshi Chida
  • Kaata Sakamoto
  • Masao Chida
  • Taro Goto
Producers
  • Hiroki Ito
  • Noriko Matsumoto
  • Yuriko Okada
Running time12 minutes
Production companies
Release
Original networkNetflix
Original releaseApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19) –
August 25, 2022 (2022-08-25)

Rilakkuma and Kaoru (リラックマとカオルさん, Rirakkuma to Kaoru-san) is a 2019 stop-motion animation series created by Dwarf Studio in cooperation with San-X that premiered on Netflix on April 19, 2019. In October 2020, it was announced another stop-motion series Rilakkuma's Theme Park Adventure would be released on Netflix. It has the same production staff as the previous series.[1] Rilakkuma's Theme Park Adventure was released worldwide exclusively on Netflix on August 25, 2022.[2]

Characters[edit]

Rilakkuma (リラックマ, Rirakkuma)
A soft, toy-like brown bear whose interests are mostly limited to sleeping and eating. He appeared in front of Kaoru's apartment one day and started living with her afterwards.
Korilakkuma (コリラックマ, Korirakkuma)
A small, toy-like white bear and Rilakkuma's close friend. She also appeared at Kaoru's front door one day and began living with her too.
Kiiroitori (キイロイトリ)
Kaoru's pet yellow chick. Rather than sleeping and eating like Rilakkuma, Kiiroitori has a hard-working nature and loves cleaning.
Kaoru (カオルさん, Kaoru-san)
Voiced by: Mikako Tabe[3] (Japanese); Lana Condor (Rilakkuma and Kaoru); Abby Trott (Rilakkuma's Theme Park Adventure) (English)
An office lady in her twenties who lives with Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori.
Hayate (ハヤテくん, Hayate-kun)
Voiced by: Takayuki Yamada[3] (Japanese); Chris Hackney (English)
A delivery man who is Tokio's cousin and Kaoru's love interest.
Tokio (トキオ)
Voiced by: Souki Matsumoto[3] (Japanese); Veronica Taylor (English)
A lonely boy who lives in Kaoru's apartment complex.
Sayu (サユ)
Voiced by: Mai Kanazawa[3] (Japanese); Melissa Fahn (English)
One of Kaoru's colleagues.

Production[edit]

An initial pitch was made by Tokyo representatives at Netflix in 2016.[4] The series was announced publicly in 2017 and was originally slated for a 2018 release.[5]

Director Masahito Kobayashi drew inspiration from Wes Anderson's films, such as Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs.[4] Kaoru, who had appeared as a silhouette in the original Rilakkuma comic series, was given a physical presence and her experiences were drawn from the female staff members.[4] The fictional city that the show takes place in, Ogigaya, is a mash-up of the Ogikubo and Asagaya neighborhoods in Tokyo.[4] The series was made at Dwarf Studio, who previously made stop motion Domo-kun animation.[6] 10 separate stages were set up, with the staff filming about 10 seconds of footage per day simultaneously.[4]

In 2018, Netflix announced the show would be released on April 19, 2019, and star Mikako Tabe as Kaoru.[7] Original characters created for the series, Tokio, Hayate, and Sayu, were introduced in March 2019.[3] Aside from playing Hayate, Takayuki Yamada also played an assortment of minor roles in the series, including the shaved ice stand man in episode 4, the man in the Yuriko horror movie, Kaoru's landlord, Kaoru's boss, the fisherman in episode 8, the photographer in episode 10, and the alien in episode 11.[8]

Episodes[edit]

Series overview
SeasonTitleEpisodesOriginally released
1Rilakkuma and Kaoru13April 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
2Theme Park Adventure8August 25, 2022 (2022-08-25)

Season 1 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Cherry Blossom"(Cherry Blossom)
Transcription: "Sakura no hana" (Japanese: 桜の花)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
Kaoru is dejected when her friends' busy lives prevent them from attending their annual Hanami. Rilakkuma can’t make pancakes without burning them.
22"Kidnapped"(Kidnapped)
Transcription: "Yūkai sa reta" (Japanese: 誘拐された)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
A sense of panic takes over Kaoru when she receives a ransom note demanding a stack of pancakes in exchange for the safe return of Rilakkuma.
33"Rainy Season"(Rainy Season)
Transcription: "Tsuyu" (Japanese: 梅雨)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
Heavy rains bring an unlikely growth of mushrooms inside the home, and Kaoru's spirits are dampened when she's the subject of office gossip.
44"Fireworks"(Fireworks)
Transcription: "Hanabi" (Japanese: 花火)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
While Rilakkuma is able to wholeheartedly enjoy the food and games at the summer festival, Kaoru grows frustrated by her own perpetual indecisiveness.
55"Ghost Girl"(Ghost Girl)
Transcription: "Yūrei no on'nanoko" (Japanese: 幽霊の女の子)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
During a sudden power outage, Kaoru and her friends are stopped dead in their tracks when a spirit from beyond the grave makes a surprise visit.
66"Fortune-Telling"(Fortune-Telling)
Transcription: "Uranai" (Japanese: 占い)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
After a streak of bad luck in the last days of summer, Kaoru sees a psychic, who implies that her three roommates are the cause of her problems.
77"Slim Down"(Slim Down)
Transcription: "Yasemasu" (Japanese: 痩せます)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
To help her lose weight -- and to catch a glimpse of the cute deliveryman -- Kaoru keeps ordering more and more costly exercise equipment online.
88"Getting a Job"(Getting a Job)
Transcription: "Shūshoku suru" (Japanese: 就職する)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
Seeing Kaoru struggle with her finances, Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori take it upon themselves to find part-time jobs -- with mixed results.
99"Snowman"(Snowman)
Transcription: "Yukidaruma" (Japanese: 雪だるま)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
With a blanket of December snow covering the entire neighborhood, Rilakkuma offers his knit cap to a poor snowman who looks so cold.
1010"Hawaii"(Hawaii)
Transcription: "Hawai" (Japanese: ハワイ)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
The roommates bring the sounds of aloha into their home to brighten Kaoru's day when a colleague's engagement in Hawaii brings her down.
1111"Sleepless Night"(Sleepless Night
Transcription: "Nemurenuyoru" (Japanese: 眠れぬ夜)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
Thinking a streak of light in the night sky was a UFO, Korilakkuma tries to call it back by building a pyramid-shaped beacon out of junk.
1212"The First Day"(The First Day)
Transcription: "Saisho no hi" (Japanese: 最初の日)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
In this flashback episode, Kaoru reminisces about the time she wanted a pet cat, but met the delightful bears who would become her roommates instead.
1313"Moving Out"(Moving Out)
Transcription: "Taikyo" (Japanese: 退去)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
As their apartment's demolition date draws near, Kaoru searches for a new place, and they all do their best to toss out the things they don't need.

Season 2 (2022)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
141"An uneasy feeling"(An uneasy feeling)
Transcription: "Fuan'na kimochi" (Japanese: 不安な気持ち)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiAugust 25, 2022 (2022-08-25)
Jackpot! Rilakkuma wins free tickets to Nakasugi Land, the local amusement park that will soon be closing its doors forever.
152"Game battle with Emiri"(Game battle with Emiri)
Transcription: "Emiri to no gēmubatoru" (Japanese: えみりとのゲームバトル)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiAugust 25, 2022 (2022-08-25)
Rilakkuma has lots of fun playing video games with a new friend, but the big fuzzy bear gets a little dizzy after playing too much. Next stop: teacups!
163"Eiji and the jungle tour"(Eiji and the jungle tour)
Transcription: "Eiji to jangurutsuā" (Japanese: エイジとジャングルツアー)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiAugust 25, 2022 (2022-08-25)
Kiiroitori ends up getting stuck in a tree. Can Rilakkuma and friends rescue the little bird? Kaoru and Korilakkuma finally make it into the park.
174"Clown in love"(Clown in love)
Transcription: "Piero no koi" (Japanese: ピエロの恋)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiAugust 25, 2022 (2022-08-25)
It's way past lunchtime and everyone's getting hungry. Kaoru and Korilakkuma need to get their bentos back from the clown who ran off with them quick!
185"Suzune’s an idol"(Suzune’s an idol)
Transcription: "Suzune wa aidoru" (Japanese: 鈴音はアイドル)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiAugust 25, 2022 (2022-08-25)
Rilakkuma, Tokio and Kiiroitori are all really hungry; luckily, the park employee that's been helping them notices and kindly buys them lunch.
196"The secret of the theme park"(The secret of the theme park)
Transcription: "Tēmapāku no himitsu" (Japanese: テーマパークの秘密)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiAugust 25, 2022 (2022-08-25)
The park secret is out!? As the sun starts to set, Suzune remembers how much she used to love this job. At long last, it's time for her final concert.
207"Strategy meeting in the dark"(Strategy meeting in the dark)
Transcription: "Ankoku no sakusen kaigi" (Japanese: 暗黒の作戦会議)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiAugust 25, 2022 (2022-08-25)
The power's out throughout the park and it's getting dark, but Kaoru starts beaming when she finally meets up with Hayate — and the rest of the crew.
218"The last parade"(The last parade)
Transcription: "Saigo no parēdo" (Japanese: 最後のパレード)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiAugust 25, 2022 (2022-08-25)
There's only one way to get the power back on in time for the parade; Korilakkuma has to send her remote controlled ducky into the underground maze.

Reception[edit]

Petrana Radulovic from Polygon called the show endearing and complimented the juxtaposition of the "whimsy" with Kaoru's struggles with her adult life.[9] James Whitbrook from io9 described the show as "a love letter to the need to escape", noting its message that sometimes even small acts of escape from everyday life are necessary.[10] Anime News Network praised the animation and concept, but mentioned that there was little exploration and resolution towards Kaoru's troubles.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rilakkuma Returns With Rilakkuma's Theme Park Adventure Series on Netflix". Anime News Network. October 26, 2020. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  2. ^ "The Netflix series "Rilakkuma and Amusement Park" will be available on August 25th".
  3. ^ a b c d e "『リラックマとカオルさん』だけじゃない! 個性豊かなキャラクター初解禁". Oricon (in Japanese). 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
  4. ^ a b c d e St. Michel, Patrick (2019-04-18). "Bear essentials: Rilakkuma's adorable stop-motion debut". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  5. ^ "「リラックマ」初のこま撮りアニメ、脚本は『かもめ食堂』の荻上直子氏が担当". Oricon (in Japanese). 2017-10-18. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
  6. ^ "Rilakkuma and Kaoru Stop-Motion Anime Unveils Cast, Trailer, April 19 Debut". Anime News Network. November 26, 2018.
  7. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (2018-11-26). "Rilakkuma and Kaoru Stop-Motion Anime Unveils Cast, Trailer, April 19 Debut". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
  8. ^ "山田孝之、『リラックマとカオルさん』で一人何役?". Oricon (in Japanese). 2019-05-02. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  9. ^ Radulovic, Petrana (2019-04-19). "Rilakkuma and Kaoru is a delightful, magical slice of life". Polygon. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
  10. ^ Whitbrook, James. "I Really, Really Needed Rilakkuma and Kaoru This Month". io9. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  11. ^ Pfeiffer, Andy; Jones, Steve (2019-04-25). "This Week in Anime: Is Rilakkuma and Kaoru Worth Watching?". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-04-29.

External links[edit]